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KP Bar Council calls off strike as CPC changes deferred

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council on Thursday conditionally called off its 23 days long strike across the province as the government deferred the recent amendments to the Code of Civil Procedure in line with one of their demands.

An emergency meeting of the council presided over by vice-chairman Saeed Khan endorsed the KP Civil Law Amendment Ordinance, 2020, through which the amendments to the CPC were deferred until Apr 15. It, however, expressed reservations about a delay on part of the government to bring about the required changes to a new provincial anti-narcotics law.

The meeting, which was attended by several members and presidents of different district bar associations, decided that the lawyers would observe strike on every Tuesday against delay in changes to the KP Control of Narcotics Act, 2019. It decided that if the sought-after amendments were not made within a month, a meeting of the council`s general body would be convened to decide the future course of action.

The meeting was informed that the bar association members and presidents, who couldn`t show up, were contacted over phone to get their opinion on the matter.

The participants discussed the ordinance promulgated on Jan 28 and decided by majority to call off the strike, which began on Jan 8.

The meeting demanded of the government to convene a meeting of the committees of lawyers and government to discuss suitable amendments to the CPCin light of the reservations of lawyers before Apr 15 until then the enforcement of the CPC Amendment Act has been deferred.

The provincial government had enacted the Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Act on Oct 15, 2019, declaring it would take ef fect at once.

Through the Act, several important changes were made to the colonial era law claiming that it would help provide speedy justice to litigants in civil cases.

A general body of the KP Bar Council decided on Jan 8 to start an indefinite strike against amendments to the CPC and flaws in the KP Control of Narcotics Substance Act. The lawyers also observed a strike from Dec 9 to 11 on the issue.

During negotiations between lawyers and government lately, it was decided that a bill would be tabled in the provincial assembly to defer the CPC amendments for three months, while during that period, the committees of lawyers and government representatives would evolve consensus over the amendments required for the law.

Also, the meeting decided that amendments to the KP CNSA would be made to remove lacunas and include bail provision in narcotics related of fences.

The lawyers claimed that through amendments in the CPC, one forum of appeal against a judgment of civil judge was abolished, so instead of the district judge, the appeal had to be filed with the high court.

They said such amendments were not introduced in other provinces and therefore, the move was a discrimination against the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The lawyers claimed that the high court would be overburdened with such appeals as the number of judges hadn`t been increased. The new narcotics law doesn`t have the bail provision, so anyone arrested in a narcotics related of fence has to move the high court for bail instead of the special court.-Bureau Report